Custard the Dragon and other identities


Immersing yourself in poetry is such a great way to play with the language, and develop skills in speaking as well. In the workroom we have been playing with the poetry of Ogden Nash, whose “Custard the Dragon” is a particular favourite. It is a great read allowed and gives wonderful opportunities for dress ups and reader’s theatre


3 responses »

  1. I absolutely agree with Jacquei. Poetry is a fantastic way to get kids to really engage with language and a great way to link in different topics across the curriculum. (There are lots of poetry books and some of them are indexed by subject)

    I read poetry to my year four students during my primary ed internship and they LOVED it. As Mandy Tunica said in her seminar about poetry, kids love poems about anything gross, because it’s just so funny (anything to do with poo or snot should get them rolling on the floor!)

    A favourite anthology of mine is “The Blood Hungry Spleen” which is all about bodily functions… (you know it’s going to be a winner with the kids, from the title alone!)

    Sadly, I had a deprived childhood because I never experienced “Custard the Dragon” but I am soon to rectify that with a book of Ogden Nash’s poems ready to go!

  2. Broadening horizons is what we’re about. Calling all interested parties to contribute to this conversation. I would like also to offer the anthology, “Rattling in the Wind”, which is a collection put together by Jill Heylen and Celia Jellett.

    I agree with Crystal, kids love the absurd! And anything with a rollicking rhyme, which makes Hairy Maclary such a favourite.

  3. Hairy Maclary is also one of my favourites- not only because the pictures are gorgeous, but because the rythmic cadence of the rhyme means that all children can access the text. This includes very young children or children experiencing difficulties, because they can listen to the words and “read along” because rhyming words are easier to remember. Of course, this would only be appropriate for the pre- reader, as you would want to get the child to actually start reading the words for themselves as soon as possible.

    I read an old favourite that I remember reading in Kindergarten, to year one, called “Smarty Pants” and they LOVED it. It has a very predictable text that rhymes. The main character, Smarty Pants, does various things like “play”, “fly”, “swing” which can easily be guessed at, if the word is covered with a sticky note. The children can use the clues in the pictures to work out the covered word- which demonstrates one of the important reading strategies for emergent readers. Even the capable readers in the class enjoyed the big book, as they could read along in a sing song voice.

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